Monday, June 25, 2018

It’s SUMMER, so it’s also time to talk about SKIN CANCER!!!  As a mother of four, I’m inundated with mom guilt.  I worry about everything, and constantly hear that what I ORIGINALLY thought was good/healthy, is now a virtual DEATH TRAP for my kids.  So I do my best to do my OWN research, and remember what my dad always says:  “Everything in Moderation – even water can kill you.”[1]

Growing up on Mercer Island, in Washington State, you would likely find me lathered up in baby oil soaking in the sun on the dock for the brief 4-6 weeks of summer.  I also was an ignorant teenager, who used tanning beds in high school to help “treat my acne.”  Now that I know better, I try to do better – in moderation.   I now avoid spending countless hours in the sun trying to look, as my oldest says a “chicken nugget” or an “Oompa Loompa.”

Most Americans know that skin cancer rates are on the rise.[2]  The rates of melanoma have been rising for the last 30 years.[3]  While disturbing, the increase in diagnoses, without proper research can result in widespread panic, which ultimately benefits big business  (You do know Mom Guilt is a marketing strategy!!).[4]  In the short 12 years before having my oldest and my youngest, doctors now highly recommend adding a vitamin D supplement to mothers exclusively breast feeding.  Sometimes our solutions create new problems!

So which sunscreen is safe?  Do your research.  SPF is defined as Sun Protection Factor.  A reading of SPF 10 means that you have 10 more minutes past the time when you would normally start to burn.  If you burn after 30 minutes in the sun, and apply your sunscreen before heading outside, you assumingly have “bought” yourself an extra 10 minutes, so you can stay outside for a whopping 40 minutes.  SPF designations are controlled by the Food and Drug Administration[5], and let’s be honest – anything that that the government does is riddled with red tape and loopholes. [6]

Not all sunscreens are created equal.  Over the past several years, the ugly truth has been uncovered regarding some sunscreens! They might be causing MORE harm than they are preventing, AND they may actually be acerbating the creation of free radicals on our face and in our bodies! These types of sunscreens are CHEMICAL in nature, but are also most readily available at Target, Wal-Mart and Costco.

To get away from these risks, most dermatologists and other skin care experts recommend using so-called “physical” sunscreens like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.

Physical sunscreens, on the other hand—like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide—are made of natural elements found on the earth, and are said to “block” or “scatter” UV rays so they never penetrate the skin in the first place.

In general, physical sunscreens are considered to be the safer options because they offer a more broad-spectrum protection and lack the hormone-disrupting effects.

For example, Zinc oxide has had a long history of use as a sun protection. It offers broad-spectrum protection, shielding you from both UVB rays, which cause sunburn, and UVA rays, which penetrate more deeply and may be more dangerous.

Zinc is an essential mineral that we actually need in our bodies for optimal function, and is the only active sunscreen ingredient approved by the FDA for infants under six months.[7]

Similarly, coconut oil, shea butter, Jojoba oil, sunflower oil and sesame oil, contain natural SPF properties.[8]

So where am I going with all of this?  Many individuals apply sunscreen daily, but (1), they forget to apply the sunscreen in areas that they do not think of[9], (2) they forget to apply sunscreen in winter months and (3), the sunscreen wears off throughout the day. 

Wearing MAKEUP actually provides an EXTRA layer of PHYSICAL sunscreen!!!  Why?  Most makeup contains zinc or titanium.  And before you get all: “I want my makeup to be safe and natural” refer to rule #1: DO your own research!!!  As said above, zinc and titanium, along with other minerals and oils are NATURAL and are proven to help reduce the harmful effects of the sun.  However, there are a lot of makeup brands, which contain CHEMICALS (verses physical properties), which, like sunscreen, can be harmful.  As always-- buyer beware.[10]  Younique skincare and makeup adheres to the European Standards, which are higher and ban more harmful chemicals that American Standards.  I have been so impressed with learning about the way Younique finds it’s ingredients and uses them!  Our website lists the ingredients to EVERY product so you know exactly what you are buying![11] 

So yes, you will see me at the pool wearing makeup.  And I’ll tell you why.  I want ANOTHER layer of protection on my face.  After four pregnancies, I do not need anymore dark spots.  The thinnest areas of skin are often the most susceptible to those harmful rays, and yet, we normally forget about our eyelids and lips when applying sunscreen.  Wearing a matte nude eye shadow, can protect that delicate skin, while lipstick or a lip balm can similarly protect your lips!

I might be crazy wearing makeup to the pool, but I’m CRAZY SAFE (more or less!). 

If you are interested in learning more about Younique, and it’s products, please let me know! Or you can visit my website at:

[1] Steve Marshall, my dad.
[4] The annual cost of treating skin cancers in the U.S. is estimated at $8.1 billion: about $4.8 billion for nonmelanoma skin cancers and $3.3 billion for melanoma.5
[5]See generally,
[6] A product's SPF refers to its ability to deflect ultraviolet rays. To calculate this figure, scientists gather 20 human volunteers who are especially susceptible to sunburn. According to FDA guidelines, volunteers must have a skin type of I, II, or III on the Fitzpatrick phototyping scale. (The categories correspond to the amount of pigment present in the skin: Very fair blonds or redheads are Type I, while those with dark brown or black skin are Type VI.) Using a device called a "solar simulator," experimenters irradiate a small patch of skin on each subject and then record the UV dose required to produce mild redness (in scientific parlance, the "minimal erythematic dose"). After applying a thick layer of sunscreen, the experimenters repeat the test. Then they divide the MED needed to redden the protected skin by the MED needed to redden bare skin. The result, rounded down to the nearest five, is the SPF.  See generally,
[7] See generally,

[9] The eyelids, lips, in between toes, backs of legs and ears neck are usually forgotten.
[11] Cyclopentasiloxane: conditions and provides a silky feel to the skin.

Dimethicone: helps protect the skin and gives a soft, velvety feel.

Titanium Dioxide: is a natural mineral that gives you some color.

Methicone: helps spread the product on the skin.

Isododecane: is an emollient that helps to spread the product on the skin.

Disteardimonium Hectorite: is a natural mineral used as a thickener.

Propylene Carbonate: works to help carry other ingredients.

Vinyl Dimethicone: gives a silky feel and helps to reduce shine.

Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer: gives a silky feel and helps to reduce shine.

Phenyl Trimethicone: helps to nourish and condition the skin.

Isohexadecane: is an emollient that provides a non-greasy, light, and silky feel to the skin.

PEG-10 Dimethicone: is an emollient that works to help protect the skin.

Iron Oxide (CI 77499-Black): is a mineral that adds color to the product.

Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides: come from coconut and help to enhance spreadibility.

Alaria Esculenta Extract: is derived from brown algae and supports the skin’s cell metabolism.

Talc: is an anticaking agent and absorbent.

Hydrogen Dimethicone: helps protect the skin.

Trimethylsiloxysilicate: conditions the skin and helps the product stay in place once applied.

Parfum: makes the product—and you—smell good.  See,

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

#Multitakingmom Moment: Kids and Chores

Why are we SOOO worried about our kids' self-esteem, if they are eating organic, or are excelling at sports?  Chances are, they will NOT play professional sports when they are an adult. Chances are, no matter how much you try to stroke their fragile self-esteem ego, they will likely need counseling regardless.  No matter HOW HARD you try to shove organic, or sugar-free, whatever whatever food down their throat...they will eventually eat what they WANT to eat.

What to know what kids NEED?  They need to learn to be responsible. They need to learn to be HUMBLE. They need to learn to appreciate what others do FOR THEM. UGH!!! Is it just me?  Or do I see a generation of entitled, gluten-free, self-esteem stroked JERKS who head off to college having NO idea how to clean a toilet, change the sheets on their bed or do a load of laundry???

We are SO pre-occupied with over-scheduling our kids and shrugging off our parental duties because "susie is just so busy with travel soccer!"  Really?  I truly believe that as parents we need -- no-- we MUST teach our children LIFE skills.  I would like to say that I'm referring to changing a tire on the roadside, or cooking a basic meal, but in TODAY'S world, I fear that my standards have been lowered, and I'm referring to children making BASIC eye contact with a server at a restaurant, saying please and thank you to someone, and having respect for their elders!  (I see SOOOO many parents who let their young children run and push past elderly couples at church without a BLINK of an eye!).  I try to show my kids, and explain to them that "running past people might HURT them."  Yes. You cannot run in parking lots, you cannot push past elderly people. You SHOULD hold the door for men and women just because it is POLITE and because you are nodding to your fellow human-kind that you SEE them, respect them and acknowledge them.

So yes...I'm asking you all. Before you sign your kid up for another travel team, ask yourself: "Is my kid NICE and polite?  Am I raising a JERK?  Could my kid benefit from some down time and some good old LIFE lessons?? Pretty sure you're thinking "yes."

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Raising a Generation of Spoiled Brats

Kids today are spoiled brats and parents are lazy. Yup. I said it.

I have four kids ranging in ages 1-13.  I fully understand how difficult and challenging parenting can be.  I've been "that" mom, whose kids are throwing a fit in Target and the grocery store.  I've been "that" parent on the airplane, whose kids are giggling and making too much nose.

But I am proud to say, that I have not been "that" parent, who hands their kid a candy bar every time we go to the store, or "that" parent who always brings home a souvenir from a trip my kids did not accompany me on.  I have not been "that" parent, who assumes their child has done nothing wrong when a situation arises.  I have not been "that" parent, who cooks two separate meals every night -- one for the kids, and one for the adults.

Why?  Because I realized first and foremost, my parents didn't do that for me.  The short-term solution, often gives way to longer-lasting BAD behavior.  I did not want to reward my kids for running basic errands with me.  I did not want my children thinking that if they throw a fit in a store, they will get something to pacify them.  I did not, and do not, want my children thinking that my husband and I live solely to answer their every wish, and that the kitchen is always open and a chef is willing to make whatever you want.

Kids are going to throw fits and be brats. They are doing on PURPOSE. They are testing the limits to see how far they can go!  When parents do not draw the line, the child learns NOTHING.

Don't get me wrong. There is a time and a place for punishments.  However, this weekend, I was at a hotel with my oldest after a show choir competition.  I witnessed a mom and dad of 2 children enjoying breakfast.  They sat drinking their coffee and eating their breakfast, whilst their 3 year old screamed at the top of her lungs and ran around.  The parents did nothing. They didn't even look PHASED by this behavior.  In fact, I'm pretty sure they thought it was "cute."  I did not.  Had at least ONE parent gotten up, taken the little girl aside and asked her to use her inside voice, I'm sure I would have given them the benefit of the doubt.  But they SAT.

Too often than not, I see that. Parents who SIT.  They take the easy way out.  They don't want to fight over meal time, so they simply give little Jimmy what he wants.  Perhaps the parent feels guilty, so they tolerate the public bad behavior, and instead of pulling the child aside, and GOODNESS forbid, LEAVING, they shrug their shoulders and make a pathetic excuse as to why their child is acting out: "Oh she's just tired."  We took a friend to the movies the other day, and the child spilled the entire tub of popcorn and didn't flinch.  Didn't apologize, didn't offer to get more. Just kept watching the movie as if nothing happened.  This child expected the adult to fix the situation.   These kids value NOTHING. They get and get and get without earning; without wanting or needing; without responsibility.  Not only do we create a generation of kids who expect EVERYTHING, but we've created a ton of WASTE!  How much time do we spend organizing and clearing out all the STUFF the kids have?  When is enough enough?

This type of coddling, unfortunately, continues on into teenage years and even adult-hood.  People are afraid of disciplining their kids (even adult kids!).  I see moms and dad running "forgotten" homework etc. to school for their kids, writing essays and doing school projects for their kids and more.  My kids know better.  They may think I'm "mean" now, but my goal is not to have them like me, but to raise responsible children, who turn into responsible adults!

I've seen so many adults, who have now paid the price of not being told NO. I've seen adult men and women walk away from 20+ years of marriage, because it no longer served it's purpose and he/she didn't feel "in love" anymore.  Maybe, had that adult child been told NO -- you don't leave your wife/husband and kids of 20 years because you are having a mid-life crisis, he would have been a REAL man.  But no. We are afraid to tell our kids no. Instead, we say: "Oh! Your marriage isn't good? Here's the name of a good divorce attorney. Want me to come help you pack?" *Please don't send the hate mail. I recognize valid grounds for divorce...just not the selfish mid-life crisis crap like ("I fell out of love with you, so I had an affair" crap).

What message are we sending to our kids?  That they can have anything and everything they want without consequence!

So every time I think (or am told by my kids) that I'm being mean, I know I'm on the right track.  I insist that my children make eye contact with adults. I insist that they say please and thank you.  I insist that they do not speak with disrespect towards ANY adult.  I work hard to ensure my boys know how to cook, clean, do their own laundry, and be responsible for their own things (I have NO problem throwing out a toy o belonging that has been left on the floor, outside or where it doesn't belong).  If my kids cannot take care of what they have, they need to learn they will lose it.

Kids will make mistakes. I give my kids reasonable chances to remedy a situation.  But I'm also not afraid of letting my kids feel the natural consequences of their mistakes, bad choices or behavior.